Are you from an economically underprivileged home, or a first generation college student who needs help this semester from the TRIO program? Well too bad, because the TRIO program was shut down the first week of school.
TRIO has been an active part of Yuba college, offering programs such as Student Support Services and transfer opportunities. If you are one of the lucky students who received a letter stating that SSS was no longer available, then you are one of the students that got screwed by lack of government funding.
TRIO is mainly a federally assisted program, meaning that in order to continue receiving funding there are certain regulations that need to be met. The state mandates they have Readers read over statistics and information given to them by the program applying for the grants. Readers gather information and score on things such as number of students dependent on the program, the amount of people involved in the group, the success of students in the program, as well smaller things such as grammar, margins, and length of the proposal. From there they are given a passing score of ninety-six.
The Readers provided the Program with thirteen extra credit points for such high performance, but the program still fell short by two points with a score of 94.67 when they needed a score of 96. Due to the Readings, the program has lost its funding for the next four year cycle with that we now have fewer programs to help those students trying to move on to Universities or other colleges.
The Transfer Center, which many of you know already closed last spring, was designated to helping students figure out what classes were needed to transfer to the university of their choice. The TRIO program worked closely with the Transfer Center and actually took students around to visit other campuses to become familiar with them. This gave students the information needed to make an informed decision on which college to transfer to, ensuring a smoother transition after switching to a university.
When the head of the center retired, leaving students to fend for themselves, TRIO stepped in and offered transfer services for students were already enrolled in the center. David Perez, head of Student Support Services for the last four years states that, “with the budget cuts in almost every department, student services have become scarce and the situation seems dire.”
Perez is ready to fight for this program because he believes in the services it provides. The students on the program have showed success with a higher GPAs and a higher transfer retention rate. An appeal has been submitted but even if the appeal is successful, it will be several months before the program is back up and running again. Other members of the staff agree that the program plays an important part in the schools transfer opportunities.
It was through the system that student Cassie Leel realized she was destined for Sac State. Leel was accepted to Sac. State last semester and now tutors here at are our college. When asked what she thought about the program losing its funding, she said “The program was there for the students who could have benefited from it. It was a great program I am proof of what it is capable of.”
Another student who succeeded through the help of TRIO was Michael Serpa, Leel’s cousin. Serpa was accepted to UC Davis. Although he was unable to speak with us, his cousin assured us he was thankful to TRIO and the staff that runs it for all the help they have given him.
In an update, Perez has now taken residence at the Upward Bound program in Woodland College. His return to Yuba College is still uncertain, but several students wish for his return.